Help:Data type

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Data types define how the statement will behave, and what kind of data they take. Different types of statements use different types of properties, and they are also using different data types. During creation of properties one of the choices is to set the data type, and once set the property gets locked to this data type. That has implications for how they can be used and there must be some amount of planning before a useful property can be defined.

Coordination of work on properties happens at Wikidata:Property proposal.

Built-in data types
Data typeNumber of
External identifier8,248
Commons media file78
Point in time64
Monolingual text60
Geographic coordinates11
Tabular data6
Geographic shape3
Extra data types
Data typeNumber of
Mathematical expression36
Musical Notation6

Properties by type[edit]

For a list of the properties that currently require each type of data type, see either:

Datatypes to link entities[edit]

Wikidata has 5 types of entities (Item, Property, Lexeme, Sense and Form). For each entity type there exists a same-named data type that can be used to link entities of that type.

Link to an item. (list of properties)
Link to a property. (list of properties)

The following data types are primarily meant for statements on Lexemes, which make up the lexicographical data of Wikidata.

Link to a lexeme. (list of properties)
For statements on lexemes that reference forms on other lexemes in order to indicate their relation. (list of properties)
For statements on lexemes that reference senses on other lexemes. (list of properties)

String-based data types [edit]


type: string (String)
list of properties: Category:Properties with string-datatype -- Special:ListProperties/string

Chain of characters, numbers and symbols that don't need to be translated into different languages or number formats. A string is not used for calculations.

  • B123
  • 90928390-XLE
  • u29238

Maximum length is 1,500 characters on Wikidata, as defined with wmgWikibaseStringLimits in InitialiseSettings.php.

Monolingual text[edit]

type: monolingualtext (Monolingual text)
list of properties: Category:Properties with monolingualtext-datatype -- Special:ListProperties/monolingualtext

A string that is not translated into other languages. This type of string is defined once and reused in all languages. Typical use is a geographically localized entity name written in the local language, an identifier of some kind, a chemical formula or a Latin scientific name. See Help:Monolingual text languages for information about the language codes available for monolingual text values and how to request support for additional language codes. (Note that monolingual text also implies a single script system, which can make the string somewhat problematic.)

Maximum length is 1,500 characters on Wikidata, as defined with wmgWikibaseStringLimits in InitialiseSettings.php.

External identifier[edit]

type: external-id (External identifier)
list of properties: Category:Properties with external-id-datatype -- Special:ListProperties/external-id

String that represents an identifier used in an external system. Will display as external link if a formatter URL (P1630) is defined. See: External identifiers.

Maximum length is 1,500 characters on Wikidata, as defined with wmgWikibaseStringLimits in InitialiseSettings.php.


type: url (URL)
list of properties: Category:Properties with url-datatype -- Special:ListProperties/url

A generalized "URL" that identifies some kind of external resource, perhaps a link to an external site of some kind, or an identifier used for lookup in some kind of specialized resource.

Maximum length is 1,500 characters on Wikidata, as defined with wmgWikibaseStringLimits in InitialiseSettings.php.

Data types to reference files on Commons[edit]

Commons media[edit]

type: commonsMedia (Commons media file)
list of properties: Category:Properties with commonsMedia-datatype -- Special:ListProperties/commonsMedia

References to files on Wikimedia Commons. During entry in the textfield the "File" namespace on Commons will be searched for matching entries. These files can be used both to illustrate the concepts in Wikidata and as an actual property value for inclusion on Wikipedia.

  • Wikidata-logo.svg

Geographic shape[edit]

type: geo-shape (Geographic shape)
list of properties: Category:Properties with geo-shape-datatype -- Special:ListProperties/geo-shape

Reference to map data file on Wikimedia Commons. During entry in the textfield the "Data" namespace on Wikimedia Commons will be searched for matching entries.

Tabular data[edit]

type: tabular-data (Tabular data)
list of properties: Category:Properties with tabular-data-datatype -- Special:ListProperties/tabular-data

Reference to tabular data file on Wikimedia Commons. During entry in the textfield the "Data" namespace on Commons will be searched for matching entries.

Data types for specific notations[edit]

Mathematical expression[edit]

type: math (Mathematical expression)
list of properties: Category:Properties with math-datatype -- Special:ListProperties/math

Formatted string that displays as formula.


\sqrt{1-e^2} produces:

See w:Help:Displaying a formula for applicable format.

Current limitation: input text can't be queried on Query Service.

Musical Notation[edit]

type: musical-notation (Musical Notation)
list of properties: Category:Properties with musical-notation-datatype -- Special:ListProperties/musical-notation

Generated image in .png format that displays a musical score. Values for that data type are strings describing music following LilyPond syntax.


Value string \relative c' { c d e f | g2 g | a4 a a a | g1 |}, produces
\relative c' { c d e f | g2 g | a4 a a a | g1 |}

Other data types[edit]


type: quantity (Quantity)
list of properties: Category:Properties with quantity-datatype -- Special:ListProperties/quantity

A Quantity value represents a decimal number, together with information about the uncertainty interval of this number, and a unit of measurement. The attributes are:

  • amount: the quantity's main value
  • lowerBound: the quantity's lower bound (optional)
  • upperBound: the quantity's upper bound (optional)
  • unit: unit of measure item (empty for dimensionless values)

Internally, amount, lower bound and upper bound are strings; positive numbers are stored with a plus sign, though this will not be displayed. The representation of a quantity may not be longer than 127 characters; therefore, the maximal value of a quantity is 10^126-1.

Unit conversion is implemented based on conversion to SI unit (P2370). Most units with that property are normalized in the RDF export for the query service (October 2019).

The normalisation table is readable as a JSON file in the WMF Mediawiki repository.

  • 762 (dimensionless)
  • 2500 km (upper and lower bounds are not set, with unit)
  • 1.03 ± 0.02 g (enter as nominal value +/- tolerance, representing a lower and upper bound, with unit). The tolerance is in some cases not shown at Wikipedia, only the nominal value, for example in Wikidata lists produced by the listeria bot.


type: time (Point in time)
list of properties: Category:Properties with time-datatype -- Special:ListProperties/time

This data type stores a date in Gregorian or Julian calendar. See detailed structure.

  • 2012
  • 1780-05 (=May 1780)
  • 1833-11-01 (=1st November 1833)

See Help:Dates for more.

Globe coordinate[edit]

type: globe-coordinate (Geographic coordinates)
list of properties: Category:Properties with globe-coordinate-datatype -- Special:ListProperties/globe-coordinate

A geographical position given as a latitude-longitude pair (in gms or decimal degrees) for a given "globe" (any stellar body). Globe defaults to "Earth" (globe: A "precision" parameter describes the resolution of the source of the coordinate. Note that the coordinate system is assumed to be "WGS84" (World Geodetic System 1984 (Q11902211)), which may not be suitable for less Earth-like bodies, and this is not configurable.

Currently, the Web UI of Wikidata doesn't expose all parameters of this data type. The value is visualized only as the coordinate, plus an embedded map if the globe is Earth (Q2). The precision can be modified in the edit mode. The globe is not visible, nor editable, in the item view. The full configuration is however visible in the history diff view (example).

When using the Web UI, the value saved will be an exact multiple of the precision chosen.

It is possible to edit the data in full via API. The CLI tool is one way to access the API. In this example Olympus Mons (Q520) is given a coordinate on Mars (Q111) using the globe parameter (used in coordinate location (P625)):

wd ac Q520 P625 '{ "latitude": 18.4, "longitude": 226, "precision": 0.016666666666667, "globe": "" }'

The globe.js script adds a UI to set the globe parameter of coordinate location (P625).

Bots such as LocatorBot may detect when the globe parameter of coordinate location (P625) is not set according to located on astronomical body (P376). Adding located on astronomical body (P376) and waiting for a bot to update the coordinate globe is an accepted workaround.

Technical details [edit]

In the Wikibase JSON format each value is represented by "datatype": <datatype>, "datavalue": {"type": <type>, "value": ...}, where the representation of the value depends on the type.

In the RDF format data types are represented by the RDF name in the following table prefixed with (or the wikibase: prefix in case of the RDF dumps). Note that this prefix is also available in the Wikidata query service, so for example ?prop wikibase:propertyType wikibase:String will return all properties of data type String.

NameJSON datatypeRDF nameJSON typeImplemented byLinks
Itemwikibase-itemWikibaseItemwikibase-entityidbuilt-inlist, query
Propertywikibase-propertyWikibasePropertywikibase-entityidbuilt-inlist, query
Lexemewikibase-lexemeWikibaseLexemewikibase-entityidWikibaseLexeme (Q28925815)list, query
Sensewikibase-senseWikibaseSensewikibase-entityidWikibaseLexeme (Q28925815)list, query
Formwikibase-formWikibaseFormwikibase-entityidWikibaseLexeme (Q28925815)list, query
Monolingual textmonolingualtextMonolingualtextmonolingualtextbuilt-inlist, query
StringstringStringstringbuilt-inlist, query
External identifierexternal-idExternalIdstringbuilt-inlist, query
URLurlUrlstringbuilt-inlist, query
Commons media filecommonsMediaCommonsMediastringbuilt-inlist, query
Geographic shapegeo-shapeGeoShapestringbuilt-inlist, query
Tabular datatabular-dataTabularDatastringbuilt-inlist, query
Mathematical expressionmathMathstringMath (Q21677559)list, query
Musical Notationmusical-notationMusicalNotationstringScore (Q21678392)list, query
QuantityquantityQuantityquantitybuilt-inlist, query
Point in timetimeTimetimebuilt-inlist, query
Geographic coordinatesglobe-coordinateGlobecoordinateglobecoordinatebuilt-inlist, query

Limitations [edit]

  • Point in time doesn't support time of day. phab:T57755
  • Quantity doesn't support infinity (Q205), e.g. you cannot state prime number (Q49008)quantity (P1114)infinitely many.

Pending data types[edit]

For none of the following dates of implementation are likely to be available. Existing datatypes may solve it in the meantime.

See: Wikidata:Development plan

To be done[edit]


time in HH:MM:SS format.

To plan[edit]

Calculated property[edit]

A property calculated by Wikibase and added directly to items. Not in development plan.

Possible uses: number of statements on the item.

Celestial coordinates[edit]

A coordinate format for specifying positions of celestial objects. Not in development plan.

Current work-around: see Wikidata:Property proposal/Astronomical coordinates

Integer datatype[edit]

A quantity datatype for positive integer numbers. This was partially implemented by removing precision and creating integer constraint (Q52848401).

Monostring item[edit]

A datatype allowing descriptions in any language, but a single label. Not in development plan.

Current alternatives: lexemes

Alternative that is being evaluated: multilingual label replacing repeated labels

Multilingual text[edit]

A string that must be translated into other languages. Use might be an entity name on non-local form, that is translated into various languages and script systems. (Note that multilingual text also imply a lot of manual work during translation.). Actual purpose to be determined.

Multiline text[edit]

A string that may contain newlines.

Remote property[edit]

Properties in remote repositories are likely to be identified through a special field on existing entities, not a separate datatype.

Value series[edit]

A simplified way to store series of values for different points in time. Not in development plan.


Display strings in FEN notation as in position in Forsyth-Edwards Notation (P6648) directly as chessboards.


Strings for display with WikiHiero. Strings in WikiHiero syntax are embedded in <hiero></hiero> to display. Samples on Talk:Q68101340 and Property_talk:P7383.

Phab request to do.

Combined human-readable and numeric id[edit]

Datatype to add numeric id and page title, e.g. of a MediaWiki page. Qualifier MediaWiki page ID (P9675) is sometimes added to property value with page titles. Some properties use the numeric value directly.

Wikibase statement[edit]

Datatype to reference a specific Wikidata statement.

Regular expressions[edit]

Datatype to store regular expressions (regex). These are currently stored as strings or monolingual text, e.g. format as a regular expression (P1793), format as language specific regular expression (P8770).

IP address ranges[edit]

Datatype to store address ranges and simplify querying them.

Data types that will never be implemented[edit]


Declined. Suggested alternative: item-datatype.

Changing datatype[edit]

A property in "string" datatype may be converted to "external identifier" datatype by a system administrator. To propose such a change, you may start a discussion at the talk page of the property or Project chat. After a consensus, a request may be made in Contact the development team. You should read previous discussion if you want to convert a property created before 2016.

Other changes of data type requires creating a new property and deleting the old one. You should use Properties for deletion for such requests.

See also[edit]